I moved during a pandemic. Unlike a typical house shopping experience, house shopping during said pandemic is an exercise in global thinking. You have a time limit, and you go in alone, so you can’t bring your detail-oriented friend to point out all the problems. Also, you’re discouraged from poking around in all the cabinets to minimize contact spreading. So, I was able to overlook the kitchen straight out of the 1970’s and instead focus on the important things, like overall layout and the excellent school district.
When I finally moved in and began unpacking the kitchen, I noticed that half the cabinets were too tall for me to reach without a stepstool and they were all very narrow. A dinner plate had absolutely no room to spare and there was no point in trying with appliances like food processors and blenders that couldn’t go on the counter.
The narrow shelves made it so I couldn’t fit many mugs or more than one layer of plates. Even salad and dessert plates only fit one plate deep. So, I took to the internet, of course, and I found two useful solutions: cupboard shelves and shelf-baskets. Measure, of course, but these seem to come in a pretty standardized size which work for most cabinets. The shelves come in different lengths and also have an option to attach to one another to avoid “leg room” issues.
The magic of these products is that they maximize the space in my reachable cabinets. Shelves feel logical rather than stacks of plates on top of each other. I can divide them with a cupboard shelf, which makes them easy to grab and minimizes wear on the plates. I don’t have to stack coffee cups precariously. I have tall-ish ones on their own and then a shelf basket divides my standard sized mugs in the cupboard above my coffee maker.
I ended up with enough baskets to stick some in my garage’s built-in shelving unit. Now I have a nice cubby for gloves and hats right near the winter boots. They’re also great in my bathroom to keep the various cleaning products easy to access. I even fit a shelf in my freezer which helps prevent an avalanche when I inevitably over-stuff my freezer as the months turn cooler and I start to hoard homemade broth and coffee beans.
I love my new house, even the 1970’s kitchen. I love my new house even more now that I’ve organized it and everything has its own shelf or basket.